After 30+ years in the carpet business, I'm sharing my knowledge with homeowners who want to choose wisely, avoid scams, get qualified installs and buy from a reputable dealer. My shopping forms checklists and guides are free to print for personal use.
"How To Choose New Carpet Like a Pro"
Why do some Carpets last longer than others?
Understanding carpet specifications is the secret to choosing new carpet wisely. Carpet durability is based mainly upon the raw materials they use in the manufacturing process. The type of fiber is the most critical factor when choosing new carpet.
Choosing the Right Carpet Fiber
Nylon is the most durable synthetic fiber available today. The two most popular nylon fibers are Anso 6.0 and Antron 6.6. Nylon resists stains but is not as soft as Sorona or Polyester. Nylon is the most costly of all synthetic fibers and is only fiber that can be color dyed.
Sorona / PTT (aka Triexta or Smartstrand by Mohawk) is best known for its softness and stain resistance. Originally invented in the 1940's it was made available in the marketplace in 2000. Not as durable as nylon.
Polyester and PET is a less costly option but tends to mat down quickly in medium to heavy traffic applications, especially along main walkways, busy thoroughfares like hallways and stairs. Polyester is very soft and stain resistant, but not as durable as Sorona.
Olefin (aka Polypropylene) Is a very strong fiber and is commonly used for inexpensive looped Berber styles, outdoor grass and level-loop or cut-pile commercial grade carpets.
Wool is the most costly of all fibers often topping $100 per square yard. It is naturally soft and durable fiber. It is more costly to install and maintain but is well known for it's elegance and ability to last a lifetime. Learn more about the Pros and Cons of Wool Carpeting.
Learn more about Carpet Fibers
Stainmaster® Brand Update
However, the exact same fiber known as Antron® Nylon 6,6 is still available at most local carpet stores under a different brand or in an unbranded form. It's the exact same fiber, but it just doesn't have the Stainmaster® brand name attached to it..
Ask Your Local Carpet Store about Carpet they carry made with the Antron® Nylon 6,6 Fiber.
Too Many Homeowners...
1. Choose The Wrong Grade of Carpet...
Carpet that can't meet their needs or goals.
2. Pay Too Much for Materials & Labor...
Because they don't get at least 3 bids / estimates
3. Have Carpet Installed Improperly...
Because they don't buy from a reputable dealer.
4. Void Their New Carpet Warranty...
Because they don't maintain their carpet as required.
You should never rely solely on any one salesperson to make all your carpet and padding choices for you. If your new carpet does not perform as expected, you cannot go back and blame the salesperson for giving you bad or misleading advice. You should do your carpet homework before you begin shopping for new carpet.
How Much Foot-Traffic Do You Have?
Your answers to these two questions will help determine what grade of carpet you need to select to meet your needs, goals and lifestyle.
Most families with kids and pets have heavy foot-traffic in their home. You need to choose a carpet designed to tolerate your level of foot traffic. To choose the right carpet for your needs, you first need to determine...
1. What is the level of foot traffic you have in your home?
2. How long you want your new carpet to last?
Carpet cost, quality, durability and longevity are all inter-connected. Combine that with your own unique level of foot traffic and you can see how choosing the right carpet can become complicated.
To avoid choosing the wrong grade of carpet, start by taking my free Carpet Foot-Traffic Test. It is a simple 6-question test to help you learn how to choose new carpet like a pro!
How Much Does Carpet Cost?
Ten years ago, a medium quality carpet, with pad and installation, used to run about $35 a square yard. Now that same quality is over $50.
A medium grade Carpet for a typical 2 bedroom home now averages $5700 with pad and installation. You can expect it to last 8 to 12 years depending on your fiber choice and level of foot traffic.
Here are 3 links to help you learn How To Choose New Carpet Like a Pro!
Choosing the Right Grade of Carpet?
It's not like it was 50 years ago when choices were very limited and most carpets were made to last at least 20 years.
Today there are thousands of different grades, styles and quality levels to choose from. The trick is knowing which grade will be the best choice for your home.
Some carpets are designed to wear out in less than 5 years, some are designed to take a beating and last for 20 years or more. Use my free Carpet Durability Guide Chart to help narrow down your choices.
When part of the roll has been utilized it leaves a balance still available for purchase, this is either called a carpet Remnant, Roll Balance or a Roll End.
Few homeowners know that they can enjoy new carpet at a fraction of the typical cost for new carpet. The trick is knowing how to choose carpet remnants wisely. How To Choose Carpet Remnants Wisely
Padding Types and Prices
A decent 6-pound Rebond Pad used to cost about $3 a yard. Now it's at least $5. Most carpet makers now recommend using 8-pound density padding.
These 3 links show the various types of carpet padding, current prices and which pad might be the best choice for your home. Carpet Padding Cost, Options and Upgrades Explained
About Carpet Padding
You rarely see it, but carpet padding does a very important job. It is the shock-absorber for your carpet. It helps reduce the damaging effects of abrasion. Types of Carpet Padding
Your padding quality must be equal to your carpet quality! It's real easy to select the wrong grade, type, thickness or density of pad. You don't want your padding to wear out before your carpet does. It would be wise to invest in a good quality pad that can easily outlive the lifespan of your carpet. Read more about Choosing the Right Pad.
Unnecessary Padding Upgrades?
With most residential carpet styles, a standard Rebond pad will usually be more than sufficient. Don't be easily swayed by any salesperson who says you need to spend more for an upgraded pad or Specialized Carpet Pad unless the carpet manufacturer requires it.
Carpet Installation Fees and Charges
Carpet Installation - This is one area where you should never skimp! Not long ago, it was common to pay $4 to $5 per square yard for qualified carpet installation. A typical 2 bedroom home that would be about $500 for installation. Today you can expect to pay closer to $800 or more depending on where you live and the grade and style of carpet you select. Carpet Installation Cost Fees Charges
Carpet at Home Depot or Lowe's?
Don't Fall For Misleading TV Commercials offering new carpet and installation at ridiculously low prices! If the price sounds too good to be true... Well, you know.
Wouldn't it be great if everyone could quickly spot and avoid common retail Carpet Scams and know how to make wise and informed Carpet Choices? That is my goal. Learn more about Free Carpet Installation
Avoid Pushy Salespeople
Unscrupulous carpet retailers often hire salespeople who will say or do just about anything to convince you to buy from them right now!
Many of these salespeople know very little about carpet or the products they sell. They are hired because they are good at closing the sale. That means they won't take NO for an answer and keep pressuring you until you agree to buy today.
This is another reason why I created my own special list of locally-owned carpet and flooring stores. They have knowledgeable salespeople, do accurate measures and provide qualified installers. Don't let obnoxious or pushy salespeople push you around!
Carpet Measuring Experience?
An experienced estimator can save you money by strategically making the best use of material waste. They can figure out smart ways to utilize leftover carpet from one room and use it to fill in an area in another room. This saves you money!
How To Measure Carpet Yourself!
Many homeowners are overcharged for Carpet, Padding and Labor! If you get three carpet estimates from three different carpet dealers, I guarantee you will get three different estimates for the amount of material your home requires and the total cost to get the job done. This is because every estimator measures differently.
"Some salespeople over-measure intentionally while other salespeople over-measure because they are inexperienced at the art of carpet measuring."
Not quite sure if the salesperson's measurements are accurate? It is always wise to get at least three estimates from local carpet stores. Then you can compare prices and measurements side by side and make wise and informed choices. Learn How to Measure for Carpet Yourself!
Carpet Measuring Scams?
Some Salespeople Lack Measuring Expertise. It usually takes several years of practice for anyone to become proficient at measuring for carpet. Salespeople who are new to the carpet business may not be very accurate at measuring and that could cost you plenty.
There are several steps you can take to make sure you don't become a victim of a carpet measuring scam or rip-off. Getting three free quotes from local carpet stores is one way to be able to compare products, services, measurements and prices side by side. Carpet Measuring Scams Revealed
Print My Free
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Everyone wants to enjoy a carpet that is soft and plush! Just because a carpet feels soft does not mean it's durable or able to tolerate YOUR level of foot traffic.
If you want carpet that will last a long long time, you need to select a carpet made from the most durable materials! You need to understand what makes one carpet more durable than another. Learning about Carpet Specifications is the key to your success!